It's A Book

It's A Book

Book - 2010
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Playful and lighthearted with a subversive twist that is signature Lane Smith, It's a Book is a delightful manifesto on behalf of print in the digital age. This satisfying, perfectly executed picture book has something to say to readers of all stripes and all ages.

This title has Common Core connections.

Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9781596436060
Branch Call Number: JP Smith
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill.


From Library Staff

smc01 Oct 28, 2010

I found this book to be delightful, and probably meant for adults rather than children. The text is so simple that I think the word "jackass" could be left out when reading it to a young child.

emilymelissabee Jul 25, 2012

A quirky and fun read for parents and kids alike, this book teasingly refers to a digital generation's understanding of books as a novelty.

McIndoo Oct 28, 2010

This is a book about a book that favours the paper book trade in a digital time and in that it is very clever! It's for older children and adults, I would not read it to a four-year old.

Kirbs Dec 17, 2010

Yes, it is indeed a book, and will remain so to return to enjoyably again and again.

And "jackass" is a perfectly good word.

From the critics

Community Activity


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JCLTiffanyR Apr 27, 2019

If you want to teach your kiddo about the awesomeness of books over electronics, this picture book is a great place to start. It's sweet and funny with charming illustrations.

Apr 07, 2019

Very funny! Everyone got chuckle out of it. This one is a favorite for everyone in our house.

Mar 17, 2019

What a lovely little book. I picked it up with some other picture books that were challenged. Even banned !!
See here for more
Apparently, with all the wars and the killing going on all over the world, folks still have time to challenge this little book for children and similar other picture books.
Consider instead the children who are being killed, raped, mutilated, bombed … around the world … everyday.
Would it not be a better idea to just sit ... repeat, just sit ... and try to figure out the source of so much anger/hate?

Jul 07, 2016

This book has the potential to be cute but the calling him a "jackass" in CONTEXT of a swear word makes this a terrible read for any decent child

FindingJane Jan 21, 2016

Remember books? Oh, right, we still have them. So no need for nostalgia—at least not yet. But when one slightly superior donkey and a very patient gorilla start comparing their different media, something curious happens.

This book quietly celebrates the joys of reading. With spare text and an unchanging background (or they in an airport? A doctor’s office? Someone’s apartment living room?), the donkey’s unending questions about the gorilla’s odd possession meet with an unchanging answer. It could have been boring. But brevity is the soul of wit. So what seems repetitive instead presents a sly message.

This doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles. It doesn’t need to be hip, cool, flashy or trendy. No matter what else changes, it remains…a book.

vpl_childrens Dec 15, 2015

A donkey and ape duke it out over the debate of this generation: book or device? A hilarious and well designed book, with a great twist at the end.

Aug 22, 2014

Playful and lighthearted with a subversive twist. More about Lane Smith:

MrDrProfessorPatrick Jan 30, 2014

This book is very adorable and teaches children the about the pro's of reading a book as opposed to the cons of using modern technology. The illustrations are very cute, too. HOWEVER, like maparcells has stated in their comment, the very last page of the book makes a very adult joke for a picture book. A little mouse says to the donkey that's using technology instead of books, "It's a book, jacka--." Of course we all know that is the technical term for a donkey, but the context in relation to the rest of the book alludes to the OTHER use of the term 'jacka--.' Some parents may not mind explaining this to their little ones, and for those families, this book will be just fine, but I know of many parents that would be a bit outraged by this. It's your call.

Jul 14, 2013

This book is a clever look at a young person coming into contact with a book for the first time. He goes through a series of questions about what you can do with it. An older person is disgusted with the lack of knowledge the young'un is showing. It ends with a comment that will make adults laugh but has guaranteed that this book will continue to end up on school banned lists.

Sep 17, 2012

This book has a great premise in the age of technology in which we live. It would be a delightful book except for the derogatory use of the word "jackass" at the end. This book is not appropriate to read to young children in my opinion.

Parents please be advised that the book uses the word "jackass" twice. In the title page it is used in correct form where the donkey is referred to as a jackass which I had no problem explaining to my 6 year old that sometimes a donkey is called a jackass. If he said that at school when they were talking about donkeys then I don't think he would get sent to the office. On the other hand, at the end of the book the mouse says "IT'S A BOOK, JACKASS." Clearly as the author states on his own personal blog that the jackass is annoying to the monkey and in my opinion the word is used in derogatory fashion to call him a name at the end. My 6 year old even stated, "that's a bad word, Mom" and proceeded to ask why it was in the book. I was miffed and told him I wasn't sure and that they should have used a different word. I then had to tell him that is a word that he should not repeat and that he would get in trouble at school if he did. It ruined the book.

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Age Suitability

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Sep 17, 2012

maparcells thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

ballantynemccallum May 02, 2012

ballantynemccallum thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Indigo_Jellyfish_12 Apr 20, 2011

Indigo_Jellyfish_12 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add Notices
Sep 17, 2012

Coarse Language: Parents please be advised that the book uses the word "jackass" twice. The second time it is an derogatory fashion.

ballantynemccallum May 02, 2012

Coarse Language: jackass; but says it only once, but still amazing book.


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ballantynemccallum May 02, 2012

A book about a jackass asking what is a book? Thinks it has a keyboard, and other crazy things like that! Also, This book comes in french/francais.


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ballantynemccallum May 02, 2012

"Amazing Book, Its a book."

-Ballantyne McCallum

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